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How decluttering can do yourself and the world a favor

By OLEEN FLORENDO, The Philippine Star Published Jan 20, 2020 6:00 am

We’ve all been reluctant about getting rid of any kind of clutter under the guise of I might find a use for it later. It’s a line you ask yourself when the good ol’ KonMari method of does-it-spark-joy becomes quite daunting. But in all honesty, will we really find a use for these things?

Decluttering is a tricky area. There’s only a thin line between the motivation to fling everything out before it turns into an overwhelming chore. But it’s only when we’re dealt with how much we have accumulated that we’re slapped by the reality that we probably own too much, a luxury that not everyone has.

But the process in itself can only do so much. It goes down to habits we find ourselves crawling back to once we’ve seen the spaces in our closets, and when the itch of our impulses is back to haunt us. And whatever we might lack in self-control, we might try to compensate for with more plans of, well, decluttering all over again, ending up in a mad cycle of overconsumption.

My own decluttering project took me a weekend of tidying up, which I did again weeks after, and then again, until it became oddly spaced out sessions for my incessant need to clear my headspace — leading to a pared-down closet and a handy amount of makeup and skincare to last me at least a year and a half, before I figured, This is all I’ll really need, right?

Part of downsizing is cutting down on purchases for things you don’t have any particular and immediate need for. The consensus for it is always tedious at first, but I found that as I slowly find myself in this lifestyle, the less I anchor myself to what I own, and get a better distinction of its value.

In a world where a mindful and conscious buying habit is becoming another trend, we can very much put it to good use. So, once you find yourselves with a discard pile, all ready to be given away, ruminate on the satisfaction that comes with owning only the things essential to your well-being, and see how you probably don’t need a lot to begin with.

Here are some suggestions for where your pile can find its home elsewhere to extend its lifetime.

Buhay zero-waste preloved group

A Facebook group borne out of a shared interest in reusing to avoid waste, they can take and repurpose any preloved item that you could possibly think of — from keychains, empty containers, routers, to stacks of papers you’ve collected from uni. It works like any average IG online shop: first user to say mine can take your donated items and they shoulder the shipping charges for their delivery.

The Foundation foundation PH

Beauty lovers who find themselves with shelves full of cosmetics might consider giving their spare lightly-used or unused makeup and hair care items to this foundation that gives them to survivors of human trafficking and rape. Instead of letting your collection expire and gather dust, these women can feel empowered from it through the form of self-care kits.

Wear forward

Here’s a social enterprise that champions circular fashion and turns our textile wastes to eco-conscious clothing by upcycling, recycling, and refashioning them, and at times promoting reconsumption through their outreach programs. Founded by a UP Clothing Technology graduate who advocates sustainability in fashion, it’s every process you’ve imagined your clothes to be in after donation.

Reading Club 2000

Share your books to Nanie Guanlao, owner of this 24/7 public library, who prides himself as a vocabularyo. This two-storey ancestral home in Makati houses millions of books from different genres free for anyone to read and borrow. Their literature selection continues to multiply through book donations, which have also become filled with children’s books and textbooks to cater to the education of street children.

Save it for donations drives

In light of the imminent eruption of Taal, usable items you have an excess of can find their home in evacuees who fled the danger of the volcano’s increasing unrest. With no guarantee of when the uncertainty will end, donations can help them feel a semblance of hope in this difficult time. A quick Google on Taal donations or checking the #ReliefPH tag on social media can lead you to more organizations near your area.